'You shall go to the ball!' 'Cinderella' fairy tale to be brought to life at Millennium Forum's famous Christmas pantomime

Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas with Derry’s Millennium Forum pantomime and the final preparations are underway for this year’s ‘Cinderella’ spectacular, which opens this Thursday, December 1.

Three of the talented cast, Dylan Reid, aka Prince Charming, along with the ‘Two Ugly Sisters,’ otherwise known as Keith Lynch and James Lecky, spoke to the Journal this week to give a sneak peek of what’s ahead for the biggest show of the season.

Cinderella remains one of the best-loved fairy stories and this Christmas it will lavishly be brought to life on the Forum’s stage.

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The classic tale will have a generous helping of witty jokes, dazzling special effects, catchy tunes and some stellar dance routines from a home-

Prince Charming (Dylan Reid) and the Two Ugly Sisters (Keith Lynch and James Lecky) will be on stage in this year's pantomime 'Cinderella' at Derry's Millennium Forum.

grown cast.

Dylan told how this year’s pantomime is set to be the best yet, with laughs-a-plenty and a more than a sprinkling of Derry panto magic.

"Rehearsals have been going great and it has been really nice to put the finishing touches on over the last few days. We’re so excited for the audience to come in and see it.”

James agreed and said that, ‘without doubt,’ the crowds at the Millennium Forum pantomime are always ‘the very best in the whole country’.

"They’re always so enthusiastic and so supportive.”

"They always keep the craic going,” added Keith.

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“It really is a traditional thing for Derry folk – and Donegal and further afield as well – to see the Derry pantomime.”

James quipped how, when playing the Ugly Sisters, you know you’re doing a good job when you’re booed on stage and told how the interaction from the audience and the amazed faces of the children are a delight to experience.

Keith told how those expressions of amazement will be in abundance this year, as the pantomime will truly be an ‘incredible spectacle’.

"Cinderella, in my opinion, is the most magical story there is. Obviously, Cinderella will go to the ball and we have lots of surprises and fun on stage. It’s just the biggest pantomime in the North West. As soon as that curtain goes up, you see the amazement on people’s faces, just from the set alone. And then you introduce all these fantastic characters. The crew, on and off the stage, is unbelievable and so talented.”

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A lot of the cast, including Dylan, came through the Forum’s youth programmes and have gone on to grace stages across the country and beyond.

Dylan said it is always special to be on the Forum stage and perform in front of the local audience.

“You always hear them even before you go on stage and there’s a brilliant atmosphere.”

James said everyone is also very proud of the fact ‘this is a very traditional pantomime’ and that ‘there is something for everyone.”

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Dylan agreed: “There are lots of jokes for the kids, but also a few for the mums and dads too.”

Tickets for all the shows, which run until January 1, are ‘flying out the door’ so it’s recommended to book soon. Proudly sponsored by the Richmond Centre, the North West’s biggest pantomime features a star studded local cast including Conal Gallen as ‘Buttons’ and Jasmine Gardiner as ‘Cinderella’. Tickets

are priced from £11.50 and are now available from the Box Office. Telephone 71 264455 or visit millenniumforum.co.uk for bookings.

Signed Performance is on Thursday, December 8 at 7pm; Relaxed performance/Dementia Friendly performance on Saturday, December 10 at 2pm and a captioned performance will take place on December 18 at 2pm.